Archive | February 2007

Mr. Query

Mr. Query is a site that lists 100 search engines on one page and groups them by type of search.  Users can search multiple engines at one time or select a particular search engine.  Very easy to use and great for specialized searches.

All Movie Guide

All Movie Guide is similar to its predecessor, All Music Guide, in that it provides an easy-to-use database of titles, reviews and related information.  While IMDb might be more thorough, the All Movie Guide offers a nice feature for librarians.  For each title, it gives a list of “Similar Movies,” which makes it nice for movie advisory.  It also allows the user to browse easily be genre.

When to Replace Common Household Items

This article, from Smart Money, gives expert advice on when to replace common household items such as mattresses, toothbrushes and fire extinguishers.

Digital Book Index

The “Digital Book Index provides links to more than 130,000 title records from more than 1800 commercial and non-commercial publishers, universities, and various private sites. About 90,000 of these books, texts, and documents are available free, while many others are available at very modest cost.”  Various text formats are available.  A free registration is required to search or browse titles and authors.

Medical Information Online

Thanks to Kay Due (Public Services) for passing this along!

The March/April issue of the AARP The Magazine has a brief guide to finding quality health information online.  They highlight the following sites as good places to start for health information on the web: 

(Reminder: Don’t forget our very own Virtual Health Information Center!)

  • AARP Health – Info on drugs, insurance, and staying healthy at 50-plus;
  • American Cancer SocietyIncludes links to clinical trials and patient support groups;
  • American Diabetes AssociationAlong with news of the latest research, provides nutritional information and even recipes;
  • American Heart AssociationFeatures an online heart and stroke encyclopedia;
  • Centers for Disease Control and PreventionThe government’s latest info on public health and communicable diseases is posted here;
  • Clinical TrialsLists experimental treatments you may be eligible to receive;
  • Family DoctorStraightforward general information from the American Academy of Family Physicians;
  • HealthfinderA health library available in English and Spanish, sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services;
  • KidsHealthA foundation-sponsored site about children’s health through adolescence; includes a special area for teens;
  • Mayo ClinicOffers online tools to help guide treatment decisions;
  • MedemA partnership among medical societies to foster doctor-patient communication; includes an online medical library;
  • MedlinePlusThe National Library of Medicine’s comprehensive health-information portal;
  • National Cancer InstituteProvides clinical details about every type of cancer and the latest treatments;
  • WebMDA for-profit news and information service with interactive activities.

Dave’s Garden

An online community of gardeners.  This site offers: PlantFiles, “the largest plant database in the world”; Garden Watchdog, a guide to gardening by mail; Go Gardening, a database of nurseries, garden centers, public gardens and parks; Bug Files, a database of insects and bugs; and Bookworm, a database of gardening books.

Wheel of Food

OK, so it’s not exactly a reference site.  Although, this will link you to maps and reviews of restaurants.  But mostly, it’s just kind of cool…

Can’t decide where to go for lunch?  Use the Wheel of Food!  Enter in a zip code and spin the wheel to get a suggestion (with the aforementioned link to maps and reviews).  I just hope you don’t land on “Skip Lunch.”


Retrevo is a search engine for product information.  Users can search by brand name, type of product, or brand and model number.  Results are divided into distinct categories: Buying Guides, Product Documents, Manufacturer Info, Reviews and Articles, Forums & Blogs, and Shopping.

Weather Bonk

Weather Bonk provides up-to-date weather information in a nice visual presentation (some locations incorporate webcams).  What makes Weather Bonk special is its travel weather feature.  The feature allows users to plot their travels, including travel times, to view the weather in locations along the way.  Also will help travelers choose the best time to travel based upon the weather forecast.

QUESTION: Books by Character Name?

I am looking for a resource that indexes books (preferably Children’s books) by the character names.  Does anyone know of a website or book that does this?

I found one website ( that does allow the user to search by character name, but it doesn’t seem to be very comprehensive. 

A few print resources might be of use, but they are a bit dated:

My Name in Books: A Guide to Character Names in Children’s Literature by Katharyn E. Tuten-Puckett, 1993. Call number: 809.92703 T966m.

Characters in Children’s Literature by Raymond E. Jones, 1997. Call number: 809.30083 J78c.  (Thanks, Keshia!)

Dictionary of Fictional Characters by Martin Seymour-Smith, 1992.  Call number: 820.3 S521d.  (Thanks, Nathan!)

Any other suggestions?  Please use the comments section to share any ideas.  Thanks!

OER Commons: Open Educational Resources

OER Commons is a network of educational materials that are free to use.  All subjects and educational levels are indexed, from K-12 materials to post-secondary, and various formats are offered.  For each resource, and abstract and link are provided.  Users may browse by subject area (Arts, Business, Humanities, Mathematics and Statistics, Science and Technology, Social Studies) or use the advanced search feature to search by keyword.

Disability and Health State Chartbook

Thanks to John Lloyd (Business/Sciences) for passing this along:

According to ResourceShelf: “For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a report of state-level data on the number of people with disabilities, and the wide range of health differences that exist between people with disabilities and those without.  The Chartbook examines five health factors, including smoking, obesity, physical activity, immunizations, and access to health care for adults age 18 years and over in 50 U.S. states, District of Columbia, and three territories.”

Tennessee Legal Aid

From Philip Williams (Cordova):

“Created by the nonprofit Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, whose mission is to make sure low income and elderly have access to the civil legal justice system; information on legal aid locations is found on the site.  In addition, there is a link to the Alliance’s Help Library.  Here there is information on a variety of legal topics and areas that could be helpful to all citizens of the state.  There is also specific information on Immigration and information to help those who were dropped from TennCare coverage.”

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

From Darletha Matthews (South) and the First Responders…

February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  This is the website of the National Black AIDS Institute, “the first Black HIV/AIDS policy center dedicated to reducing HIV/AIDS health disparities by mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront the epidemic in their communities.”

Greening Greater Memphis

From Chris Marszalek (South Region) and the First Responders…

This is the link for the web home of Greening Greater Memphis, a new organization aimed at “Connecting people to parks, parks to parks, and people to people.”  Shelby Farms Park Alliance, the Wolf River Conservancy and Greater Memphis Greenline are teaming up for this movement and having their kickoff this Thursday.  Check the site for more details about the event or the organization.